PEMBROKE PINES (CBS4) – A funeral service was held Monday for Natalie Belmonte, the Pembroke Pines woman whose body was found last week in a wooded area near her home.
Hundreds of people attended the mass of remembrance for Belmonte at the Blessed Pope John Paul XXIII Catholic Church on Miramar Parkway at 10 a.m.
Belmonte was killed last weekend. Police have charged her adopted son Gerard with first degree murder.
On Sunday, a visitation was held at the Boyd Funeral Home in Pembroke Pines .
“She was an amazing person, you know, her smile lit up a room, unconditionally she gave herself up without question, without expectation of anything in return,” Jaime Mir, a friend.
Those who knew the 43-year old woman all described her as a person of endless empathy and love for others. A woman who opened up her family to another by adopting Gerard Lopes, the son now accused in her murder.
“It’s unexplainable, it really is, cause she had a nice relationship with her son,” said Jessica Mendez, a friend.
“It’s crushed our whole family,” said Belmonte’s cousin Sass Sonntag.
Belmonte’s aunt, Ann Marie Boller, said she still can’t believe something like this happened.
“I can’t even think right now,” said Boller, “She’s a beautiful, beautiful person. She was kind, loving, just fabulous, she was my heart.”
Some of Belmonte’s friends became very emotional at her viewing, still stunned by the fact that she was gone.
“I just want to say that I miss her, I love her, and you know the world is a sadder place today because of that,” said Mendez.
Gerard Belmonte, also known as Gerard Lopes, remains behind bars at Broward County’s main jail on suicide watch. The 22-year, who has been charged with first degree murder, is being held without bond.